National Electoral Council (CNE) chairwoman Tibisay Lucena said this Friday: “The CNE has made progress with the presidential elections, we’re not ready to hold a presidential election along with an election that’s technically far more complex,” stopping Diosdado Cabello’s proposal of “double or nothing” (to dissolve the National Assembly) as well as Nicolás’ “all in”, which added parliamentary elections together with elections for legislative and municipal councils.
So for now, we’ll have Nicolás’ impossible early reelection on April 22 under fair conditions. Minister Jorge Rodríguez said last night that the Executive complies with the CNE’s decision, with the argument of being democrats who respect the guidelines of a subservient CNE. In any case, the attempt to dissolve Parliament is still on the table.
Despite the tantrum thrown by Venezuela and Bolivia, yesterday the OAS approved a resolution that demands the government to cancel the April 22 elections while proposing fair, free elections with international observation. With 19 votes in favor, five against, 8 abstentions and two absences, the resolution states that the call for April 22 “makes it impossible to hold democratic, transparent elections in compliance with international standards” and that’s why they urge the government to reconsider and provide a new timetable. One that allows to have elections with full guarantees along with the inclusion of all Venezuelan political parties and actors “without bans of any kind,” allowing international and independent observers, as well as an autonomous CNE. Samuel Moncada’s words aren’t worth mentioning, but I think he should urgently use anxiolytics or at least more rigorous rehearsals for the complex role of the aggressive victim.
Nicaragua made a fun clarification regarding their abstention.
El gobierno de #Nicaragua tuvo que emitir este comunicado luego de que su representante en la #OEA se abstuviera en la votación del día de hoy en vez de votar en contra como #Venezuela. pic.twitter.com/kReo3Ymso7
— Mariano de Alba (@marianodealba) February 23, 2018
The chief of the Bolivarian Service of National Intelligence (SEBIN), Gustavo González López, claimed that Voluntad Popular militants were planning to kidnap former Central Bank chairman Nelson Merentes, in order to finance terrorist actions. This brilliant deduction is the result of several phone taps and bank account movements that led them to Luis Alberto Navas Medina – the alleged mastermind –, already arrested. González López finds this “change in the way to finance Venezuelan terrorism” interesting.
It’s always shocking how lightly they use a term as delicate as terrorism, to attack a political party and make a victim of a former public official whose salary shouldn’t justify his potential as a “forceful contributor” to nothing, should it?
But well, corruption…
According to the ranking presented by Transparency International (TI), Venezuela and Haiti are the most corrupt countries in Latin America, while Uruguay and Chile turned out to be the cleanest. In the 25th edition of the Corruption Perceptions Index, Somalia and Southern Sudan continue to hold the worst rankings, while New Zealand and Denmark are ranked as the most transparent. According to TI, there’s correlation between the countries with the worst results and those with the worst levels of protection for journalists and activists: “In the most corrupt countries the space for the press and freedom of expression is absolutely reduced, as is the space of access to information,” explained TI chairwoman Delia Ferreira, adding that lowering the protection of the media is damaging the Rule of Law as a whole.
My love to Conatel.
For Ferreira, Venezuela is a country in a total humanitarian crisis because “corruption is the system in all aspects of the situation” and “the international community should try to be more solid advancing some reform.”
Electrical Power minister Luis Motta Domínguez reported, really late, that the blackout experienced on Thursday by eleven states in the country was caused by the explosion of a condenser in the substation Yaracuy 765, due to vandalism:
Camaradas! El día de ayer a las 16.51 horas, explotó un condensador en la face C, en la subestación Yaracuy 765 ubicada en Yaritagua, Edo.Yaracuy. Lo que trajo como consecuencia la interrupción del servicio en 8 estados del País… Al intentar hacer la maniobra para restablecer el servicio por otros circuito, se detectó que el sistema de protecciones había sido manipulado, así como los interruptores, igualmente la antena repetidora de MOVILNET, que brinda el servicio de comunicaciones a esta eatacion y se encuentra en las cercanias, había sido vandalizada. Después de 17 horas continuas de arduo trabajo se pudo restablecer el servicio, siendo el último estado recuperado, el Edo.Táchira… Es muy importante hacer notar que en la madrugada de hoy, antes de restablecer el servicio en el Edo.Zulia fueron incendiadas con premeditación y como parte del plan terrorista para desestabilizar la paz y los próximos sufragios, dos (2) subestaciones en la región zuliana, subestación Cabimas y subestación Los Robles… Ayer mismo, antes de que sucediese el evento, una persona declaraba por un canal privado de TV y profetizaba el “apagón” que sucedió… Casualidad??? No lo creo Camaradas!!
“We detected that the protections system had been tampered with, as well as the switches.”
But for Winston Cabas, head of the Venezuelan Association of Engineering, Mechanics and similar professions (Aviem), the blackout was the result of lack of maintenance, planning and de-professionalization in the area. According to Cabas, if the necessary repairs are made, the national electrical system could be recovered in five to ten years, because they need to broaden generation capacity, carry out maintenance in the system and replace the technology used in substations.
Last night, Jorge Rodríguez said that Nicolás ordered the incorporation of Corpoelec in the integral defense to defeat electrical sabotage and that it should be incorporated as a “civilian-military-police basic territorial unit.”
- Delcy Rodríguez asked U.S. chargé d’affaires Todd Robinson to read the treaty of the Vienna Convention, as well as articles 347, 348 and 349 of the Constitution to understand the constituent process. She showed unusual restraint.
- Argentine Treasury minister Nicolás Dujovne said that the April 22nd elections are “null and void” because the opposition isn’t free to participate and added that the international community must vigorously condemn the Venezuelan regime’s anti-democratic actions.
- Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos called again for the recovery of democracy in Venezuela, using the OAS resolution to emphasize that the continent – with an official majority – expressed its concern for the colossal crisis we’re suffering.
- Starting on Monday, February 26, Colombian authorities will start a new registry for Venezuelans, to provide them with temporary immigration status, which will allow them to work legally and have access to health and education, explained foreign minister María Ángela Holguín.
- Colombian Defense minister Luis Carlos Villegas rejected the accusations that Venezuelan citizens were being recruited by Colombia’s Armed Forces to train them and reintroduce them to wreak havoc and propitiate a confrontation. Villegas remarked that these accusations are baseless and they have no connection with reality.
- The Venezuelan consulate in Miami is at risk of eviction due to non-payment of the rent it owes since September 2017. Venezuela refuses to pay the $140,000 debt.
Jorge Rodríguez also announced that Nicolás will personally lead the Multidimensional Defensive Action “Independence 2018” drill, which will be carried out this weekend countrywide.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.